Tag Archives: Ann Mortifee

Opening Night of the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery’s 2024 Season

Eighty-three people turned out on Friday June 7, for the gala opening night of the Old School Art Gallery’s 2024 season. This is a group show, which will be open to the public on Fridays (6-9 PM) and on weekends (2-6 PM) until June 16th.

Bianca Lee,  Manager of the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery, was delighted by the large turnout, “I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out having the member show at the beginning of the season, but it worked out pretty magnificently. There was so much interest and participation in the show. It seems like a really beautiful way to start out the season, get people excited about the gallery and also avoid the burnout of late season.”

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Getting Ready For Love Fest 2024

Ben Coey is co-producing this year’s Lovefest, which returns to Linnaea Farm on Saturday August 10th.  

“Rex, Amy and Rick have been running and producing the festival for a number of years. They’ve  decided that they need to have a bit of a break from doing it. I’ve worked with Rex on a number of projects previously.  He asked me if I liked to get involved and help out with co-producing and I said, ‘yeah, sure,’” Coey explained.

“I’m good friends with Rex. I’ve toured for many years as a drummer in a band with Rex’s son, Jack. I’ve always loved coming to Lovefest, and played in it a couple of times. I’m spending more time up in Cortes and gradually moving up here. This is a nice way to just get involved with the community.”

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Ann Mortifee: Coming Home To Cortes Island

Conclusion of a 4 part series.

Hollyhock brought Ann Mortifee to Cortes Island. She was one of Vancouver’s leading singers, but had no previous teaching experience when they invited her to do a workshop. That was 40 years ago. 

“Martha Abelson convinced me to give it a go. I remember the first workshop I did. I went into a wild panic because I’m not a teacher, I’m a singer. I went to the library to find out how I could teach,” she explained.  “At the end of the first session in the morning, I told  Shivon Robinsong (a co-founder and Director of Hollyhock), ‘I can’t do this. I’ve used everything that I was going to use in the five days in the first morning. I have no idea what I’m doing for the rest of the week. I have to give them the option to leave. I’ll pay for everything that Hollyhock would lose.'”

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Ann Mortifee: A South African Pilgrimage

   Part 3 of a 4 part series

Ann Mortifee was born in Zululand. While she’s been in Canada most of her life, the first 10 years were spent on a sugarcane farm where she was surrounded by the Zulu and Xhosa peoples.

“My grandfather had been in Africa during the Boer War. He had stayed on and had become a farmer.  It was in KwaZulu, then called Zululand and I felt I owed a debt on behalf of our family,” she explained.  

“Apartheid was a terrible thing. In fact that’s why my father left South Africa.” 

The family moved to Vancouver, but Ann still felt connected to the land of her birth. 

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Kim Paulley (part 2): George Sirk, Cortes Island and the rebirth of her career

Part 2 of a 2 part interview, click here for part 1. 

Her singing career appeared to be a thing of the past, when Kim Paulley came to Cortes Island in 1992. The release of ‘Straight From The Heart’ had been promising, but she turned to Classical music. While there had been ‘fantastic’ moments between 1985-90, there was also the toil of auditions (and sometimes not getting the part). Her career was on hold when a friend  recommended the retreats at Hollyhock, where George Sirk was a naturalist guide.

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